“This was a position we requested to take some of the pressure off Rob Hill,” said NWC athletic director Andy Ward. Hill had served as the head coach of both the Trapper men’s and women’s soccer programs last season. He will remain as Northwest’s men’s coach, a capacity that saw him named Region IX Coach of the Year in the Trappers’ first season as a soccer program.
Olivas, who spent four seasons with the University of Wyoming women’s soccer program, inherits a roster of players recruited by Hill. After fielding a team largely filled with local names one year ago, the 2011 edition of the Trappers features players from six different states and three foreign countries.
Olivas has seen only one of the players on the roster in person, but doesn’t foresee that being an issue when team practices begin.
“One of the players, I’ve coached since her freshman year of high school,” Olivas said. “Other than that, I’ve met a couple of the others on the roster along the way. I’ve seen some video on some of the kids, and that’s about it. I don’t see that as a challenge though, I see it as an opportunity. They’re soccer players at the collegiate level and part of my job is to teach, so everyone will be learning the same things.”
Olivas notes her goal for the Trapper women’s team will be similar to what one would expect from any new coach.
“I’m a competitor, of course I like to win,” Olivas said. “My main goal though is looking to improve the women’s soccer program. I want to get the most success we can from this group of players. The program is only in its second year, so there’s going to be room to grow. Part of the process is finding where we’re at as a second-year program. Big opportunities lie ahead.”
Olivas also has the advantage of knowing Hill.
“I came up to Powell, took a look around and knew I wanted to take the next step,” said Olivas, who has played the sport since age 10 and has been coaching since the age of 14. “I liked the college and where it is going with the program. This is where I was led and this is where I am.”
The Trapper women open their 2011 soccer season in Great Bend, Kan., with a pair of games in the Barton County Community College tournament. Olivas’ home debut comes Sept. 9 when NWC hosts North Idaho.
Northwest College will prep for the season with a trio of pre-season scrimmages, beginning on Aug. 13 in Billings and including an Aug. 19 home scrimmage against the University of Great Falls.
Northwest finished its inaugural women’s soccer season with a 2-9-1 overall record.